I can’t imagine there are many 12-year-olds who, when asked to tell their English class about the books they’d read through the summer, would open with the Wisden Almanack, the weighty ‘bible’ of the cricketing world that chronicles the scores and results of the previous year in microscopic detail. I was such a boy.
Fast-forward two decades and with professional cycling having usurped cricket in my affections, you can imagine my giddy enthusiasm at receiving a copy of The Road Book in the post – cycling’s very own crack at the Wisden Almanack.
As long as a King James Bible and as heavy as a carbon racer, the book documents the results of every race of the season, in satisfying detail that goes as far as the prevailing weather of the race.
It’s edited by Ned Boulting, who has his fingers in all the pies right now. Juggling his commentary, presenting, hosting, writing and performing gigs, he appears to have solved the eternal quest for finding extra hours in the day – perhaps we’ll ask him how he did it for his next monthly column in Cycling Plus.
But he’s had plenty of help with The Road Book, not least throughout from stats guru Cillian Kelly, @irishpeloton to Twitter users, a coding expert who wrote the software that shaped the data central to the book. And if the results are the book’s brain, then the editorial contributions from the likes of the Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Philippa York and Marianne Vos are its heart. It’s a very satisfying product that’ll never be far from reach in 2019.
The Road Book is on sale now for £50. Head to www.theroadbook.co.uk to get yours.